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or incident itself. Or you are giving a lesson on some
And if this be true there arises the necessity for Preparalooking into ourselves and carefully guaging our resources tron. before we begin to give even the humblest lesson. Before undertaking a matter so simple as hearing a class read, we should glance over the passage and determine on what words it will be well to dwell by way of explanation and what form of illustration should be brought to bear upon it. Even if you are going to give an exposition of a rule in Arithmetic, or of the use of the Ablative, it is wise to select beforehand and mentally to rehearse your illustrative examples; to see that the instances
The teacher should always be a Learner.
chosen, have no irrelevant factors in them, but are calculated to furnish the most effective examples of the particular truth which you wish to explain. However simple the subject of a lesson, it is never so good when unpremeditated as it would be with a little pre-arrangement and forethought. And for all lessons which do not lie in the ordinary routine, the careful preparation of notes is indispensable; it is only by such preparation that you can determine how much can fairly be attempted in the prescribed time, what is the order in which the parts should be taken up, how they should cohere, at what points you should recapitulate, and how you can give unity and point to the general impression you desire to leave.
And further, a true teacher never thinks his education complete, but is always seeking to add to his own knowledge. The moment any man ceases to be a systematic student, he ceases to be an effective teacher; he gets out of sympathy with learners, he loses sight of the process by which new truth enters into the mind; he becomes unable to understand fully the difficulties experienced by others who are receiving knowledge for the first time. It is by the act of acquiring, and by watching the process by which you yourself acquire, that you can help others to acquire. It is not intended by this that the thing thus acquired should be merely a greater store of what may be called school learning, or of what has a conscious and visible bearing on the work of school. It is true that we can never know all that is to be known, even about the subjects which we teach in schools. Mathematics, History, Philology are constantly subject to new developments, are stretching out into new fields, and becoming capable of new and unexpected applications to the needs and to the business of life. There Extra-professional Knowledge.
should never be a time in the history of a teacher at which, even in regard to these purely scholastic subjects, he is content to say “I know now all that needs to be known for my purpose. I have an ample store of facts and illustrations at my command, and may now draw freely upon it." Still the question, "What has this or that study to do with the main business of my life? How far will this kind of reading tell upon my professional work in school?' though it naturally occurs to a conscientious man, is narrowing and rather ignoble. The man is something greater than the teacher. The human Not of needs crave to be satisfied even more than the pro
lore only. fessional. Our work makes the centre of our world no doubt; but life needs a circumference as well as a centre, and that circumference is made up of sympathies and tastes which are extra-professional. And in relation to the tastes and reading of your own leisure I would say: When your more strictly professional work is done, follow resolutely your own bent; cultivate that side of your intellectual life on which you feel that the most fruitful results are to be attained, and do not suppose that your profession demands of you a cold and impartial interest in all truth alike, or that what to others is a solace and delight, to you is to be nothing but so much stock in trade. If when I see a school, and ask the teacher what is its special feature, or in what subject the scholars take most interest, he replies, “O, there is nothing distinctive about our course, we pay equal attention to all subjects," I know well that his heart is not in his work. For over and above the necessary and usual subjects every good school, ought to reflect in some way the special tastes of the teacher. The obvious demands of your profession and of the public must first be satisfied. And when they are satisfied, one mind will be drawn to the exact
sciences, another to poetry and the cultivation of the imaginative faculty, another to the observation of the phenomena of nature, a fourth to the sciences of history and of man. Be sure that no study thus honestly and affectionately pursued can be without important bearings on your special work. Everything you learn, even in matters like these, will tell in ways you little suppose on the success of your lessons, will furnish happy digressions, or will suggest new illustrations. «Tout est dans tout,' said Jacotot, by which I suppose he meant that all true knowledge is nearly akin, and that any one fact honestly acquired sheds light on many others, and makes every other fact easier to acquire. The one thing you dread most in your pupils, dread most in yourself-stagnation, acquiescence in routine, torpor of mind, indifference to knowledge. When your own soul loses the receptive faculty, ceases to give a joyous welcome to new truth, be sure you have lost the power of stimulating the mental activity of others, or of instructing them to any real purpose.
Old Roger Ascham in his Scholemaster, the oldest educational book in England, describes his ideal student and teacher as Philoponos, one who hath lust to labour,' and Zetetikos, one that is always desirous to search out any doubt, not ashamed to learn of the meanest, nor afraid to go to the greatest, until he be perfectly taught and fully satisfied.' And these qualities are still as indispensable as ever. There must be in the perfectly successful teacher a love of work for its own sake. The profession is no doubt laborious; but as it has been well said, “It is not labour, but vexation that hurts a man." Trouble comes from mismanaged labour, from distasteful labour, from labour which we feel ourselves to be doing ill, but not from Labour itself when it is well organized and successful.
Then there arises a positive delight in the putting forth of power, and in the sense that difficulties are being overcome.
Familiar as the truth is, it is worth reiterating that Temper. while teaching is one of the professions which most tries the patience, it is one in which the maintenance of a cheerful and happy temper is most essential. Some of us are conscious of a tendency to hasty unguarded words, to petulance, and to sudden flashes of injustice. Such a tendency may become a great misfortune to a teacher, and lead to consequences he may regret all his life. And I have known those who, having chosen the vocation of a teacher and being at the same time aware of their own infirmity in this respect, have so guarded and watched themselves, that their profession has become to them a means of moral discipline, and has sweetened and ennobled tempers naturally very hasty or very sour. But be this as it may, unless we are prepared to take some pains with ourselves and cultivate patience and forbearance, we are singularly out of place in the profession of schoolmaster. We want patience, because the best results of teaching come very slowly; we want habitual self-command, because if we are impulsive or variable and do not obey our own rules we cannot hope scholars will obey them. Chronic sullenness or acerbity of temper makes its possessor unhappy in any position, but it is a source of perpetual irritation and misery in a school. “That boy,” said Dr Johnson when speaking of a sulky and unhappy looking lad, “looks like the son of a schoolmaster, which is one of the very worst conditions of childhood. Such a boy has no father, or worse than none, he never can reflect on his parent, but the reflection brings to his mind some idea of pain inflicted or of sorrow suffered.” Poor Johnson's